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Lou Distasio (Rhode Island) was one pitch away from keeping Chatham and Cotuit in a scoreless tie.
He had just taken over for starter Max Tishman (Wake Forest) in the top of the fifth, and needed to retire Logan Taylor to get out of the inning. But the Anglers lunck continued on the lowly path its been on since an opening-night win at Orleans.
Taylor slapped a double off the wall in center, plating two runs that would later prove to be all the Kettleers needed on the night.
“We just have to hit and pitch our way out of it,” Chatham manager John Schiffner said. “We’re not doing either of them very well.”
Chatham (1-4) dropped game two of its Sunday doubleheader against Cotuit (3-2), falling 3-0 on the heels of a 4-1 loss earlier in the day. The loss is the Anglers fourth straight at home and overall, and came after the lineup collected just one hit in the shortened seven-inning game.
Tishman was hooked for the loss for Chatham, as he was credited with the two runs that came home on Taylor’s double despite facing the minimum number of hitters through the first four frames. Vincent Fiori grabbed the win for the Kettleers by giving up no runs and the Anglers’ only hit in one inning of work out of the pen.
“It’s psychological, you lose a couple in a row and everyone kind of starts pressing a bit,” infielder Blake Butera (Boston College) said. “That’s the biggest thing. Guys are here for a reason, we’re all here for a reason. We just have to play our games and not try and do too much like we are right now.”
Before Cotuit scratched across its first two runs in the top of the fifth, Tishman gave Chatham the best start of its young season. The lefty pitched a spotless first before doing the same in the second, not giving up a hit until Richard Carthon led off the third with a dribbling infield single.
He went on to get out of a miniature jam with a double play in the top of the fourth, pumping his left fist before jogging into a cluster of high-fives at the top step of the Anglers’ dugout. He was hooked for Distasio after striking out Carthon looking in the next frame, and had his team in position to halt its losing skid.
“He was excellent, what a great job,” Schiffner said. “He threw very, very well and I was pleased. It was a big boost for us.”
With Tishman looking on, the Keetlers built a two-run cushion to lean on for the rest of the contest. And it was until the next half inning that the Anglers got their first hit — a leadoff single by Ty Moore (UCLA), who was making his second appearance with the team. Moore stole second and Butera walked two hitters later, but A.J. Minter got Chris Shaw (Boston College) and A.J. Murray (Georgia Tech) to fly out for the second and third outs.
As has been the case in all four of Chatham’s losses, big hits were in a high demand that wasn’t met. The Anglers loaded the bases in the top of the second, two on in the fourth and fifth and left nine runners aboard in the game.
The opportunities were there, but the Kettleers managed to keep Chatham at bay and leave the elbow of the Cape with a two-game sweep of a team looking forward to a day away from the park.
“We can use the off day just to kind of get away from baseball,” Schiffner said. “We told them we’d be here if they want to get some extra work in, but an off day can never hurt here.”